Apple’s much-awaited ‘Wonderlust’ event has just concluded and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that it was packed to the teeth. While the iPhone 15 series was the big draw of Apple’s 2023 September event, other products and features were also unveiled to give it company. The new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are bound to draw fitness enthusiasts to the showrooms over the next few weeks. For those who don’t plan on making any upgrades this year, Apple has lined up the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 updates for their existing iPhones and iPads.
Obviously, it would take the world a couple of days to digest everything Apple unveiled today. The iPhone 15 series in itself is a vast subject to explore since these smartphones are bringing a host of new features and refinements. If you are planning to buy the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, there are even more things to consider this year than ever before. At the same time, the old iPhone 14 is also available as a low-cost alternative to the iPhone 15, but without the much-hyped USB-C modification.
Oh yes, let’s talk about that USB-C port, shall we? The USB-C fever has gripped the iPhone 15 and AirPods Pro this year. You now require just one charging cable for most of your Apple devices (unless you are buying the older iPhones or vanilla AirPods).
Hence, without further ado, let’s go through the Apple event 2023 highlights, deep-diving into everything that Tim Cook and his team unveiled this year.
Apple event 2023 highlights
iPhone 15 series
It has been over a year since we were treated to the ‘dynamic’ iPhone 14 Pro and its unique interpretation of a display notch. For the iPhone 15 series, Apple has simply gotten rid of the display notch for all the variants and adopted the funky Dynamic Island. The functionality hasn’t changed much but the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus look a lot smarter than their predecessors. The Super Retina XDR display is now rated to go up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness.
Other than the Dynamic Island, the design on all the iPhone 15 models has been slightly refined to allow for a more comfortable in-hand feel. While the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are still loyal to Aluminium, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have ditched the stainless steel frame and gone for a Titanium frame, which is more lightweight and durable. These Pro iPhones have also gained an Action button, replacing the age-old slider key, that lets you add a shortcut for any iOS activity.
The cameras have also been overhauled. A new 48-megapixel camera is now in charge of photos and videos along with the 12-megapixel ultrawide camera on the standard iPhone 15. On the iPhone 15 Pro, there’s another new 48-megapixel image sensor along with a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x zoom. The iPhone 15 Pro Max gets Apple’s first periscope lens setup for the zoom camera, allowing the optical zoom range to be enhanced to up to 5X.
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The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max also get the new A17 Pro chip fabricated on the 3nm process that promises multifold improvement in performance and power efficiency. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, however, miss out on the A17 chip and have to settle for last year’s A16 Bionic chip (still very powerful).
The new ultrawideband 2nd gen chip can also help find your friends nearby. Additionally, satellite connectivity can help locate you on the grid when there’s no cellular connection.
Battery capacities have also been enhanced across the range, with Apple promising up to an extra hour of battery stamina on all the iPhone 15 variants. The USB-C port is the biggest change here and, as hinted previously, it is only the Pro iPhones that are getting the faster data transfer and charging speeds. The MagSafe wireless charging continues to exist on all the models as standard.
The most important bit though is the pricing. The iPhone 15 starts at SGD 1,299 for the base 128GB variant whereas the iPhone 15 Plus commands SGD 1,449 for its base 128GB variant. The iPhone 15 Pro starts at a price of SGD 1,649 for the base 128GB variant while the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes in at a price of SGD 1,999 for its base variant, which now has 256GB storage.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will be available in Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue and Black. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be available in Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium and Natural Titanium.
New Apple Watches also unveiled
Another one of the major highlights of the Apple 2023 Event was the unveiling of the Apple Watch Series 9 with a couple of cool upgrades. Available in both 41mm and 45m sizes, the Series 9 continues to be available in Wi-Fi and Cellular variants. While the design remains identical and so do the colours (except for the new Pink shade), a new S9 chip promises superior performance and power efficiency.
The new chip also allows for on-device Siri, enabling quicker Siri responses and local device control. It also lets Series 9 users transfer/receive Apple Music playlists and recommendations from a nearby HomePod device. Now how cool is that?
The new display is now rated to achieve a peak brightness of 2,000 nits. The Series 9 also gets a ‘Double Tap’ feature, enabling users to double tap their fingers to silence an alarm, take or end a call, take pictures and do more. Battery life has also improved marginally, thanks to the presence of the new chip. The Apple Watch Series 9 starts at SGD 599 for the regular Wi-Fi variant.
Another one of the Apple event 2023 highlights was the unveiling of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 with the new S9 chip for improved performance and power efficiency. The S9 chip brings in all the new features we’ll get to see on the Apple Watch Series 9. The peak display brightness has also been increased to 3,000 nits, while the battery life figures remain unchanged. The new Watch Ultra 2 starts at SGD 1,199.
Apple event 2023 highlights: iOS 17 gets a release date
As the iPhone 15 series was unveiled, Apple also declared the official release date for the latest version of iOS.
The iOS 17 update will hit all compatible iPhones starting September 18, 2023. The iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus won’t be getting the iOS 17 update. However, all iPhones released after 2017 will see improved customisation and sharing features with the new iOS update. You can check out our detailed look into all the features that iOS 17 will bring to the table.
The USB-C fever
Alongside the iPhone 15, Apple also updated the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen with a USB-C port. The USB-C port now allows users to charge the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen via any USB-C charging cable. iPhone 15 series users will also be able to charge the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen from their phone by using the USB-C to USB-C charging cable. Apple has also updated its EarPods with a USB-C port.
Goodbye, Lightning port. You served us well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– What were the major highlights from Apple’s 2023 event?
The 2023 Apple event saw the launch of the iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2nd Gen. It also unveiled the release date of iOS 17.
– What are the features of the iPhone 15 Pro Max?
The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a new 3nm A17 Bionic chip, a 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED display, an Action button, a Titanium frame, a 48-megapixel main rear camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom. The smartphone also has a USB-C port for charging.
– What is the price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max?
The iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at a price of SGD 1,999 for the base variant offering 256GB storage.
– What are the specifications for AirPods Pro 2nd Gen?
The updated Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen gets a USB-C charging port on the case. The features remain identical to its predecessor, including the strong ANC and the great audio performance. iPhone 15 users can also reverse charge their AirPods Pro via a USB-C to USB-C cable.
(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy Apple)